Post-COVID design themes
A post-COVID world. The world will look different post-COVID-19. In some ways, quite literally so. That’s why we asked our design team to draw up some design themes that they expect will surface in the post-pandemic retail landscape, based on what they see happening now.
1. CONTACTLESS – FRICTIONLESS – CASHLESS
The pandemic made us all quickly adapt to certain social changes, such as keeping physical distance and using more and more digital resources. It’s a new normal that we will have to actively embrace—figuratively, obviously—for a while.
Gathering in physical spaces again can be stressful. Brands can help lower that stress by introducing solutions that promise smooth and efficient shopping experiences.
Think shopping areas with one way traffic, such as seen in Ikea or Flying Tiger, where sensors monitor capacity and flow at all times. And, of course, contactless payment, self-checkout, or the ultimate, checkout-free options will also continue to be great ways to maintain physical safety and reduce anxiety in this new reality.
2. HOMETAIL – HOTELTAIL – EVERYWHERETAIL
Home is where the heart is. And because ofCOVID-19, it’s where everything else is as well. Work, play, fitness, date night and… brands. Everything found its way into our living room and as a result retail did as well.
Home is now a safe haven for most of us, and it’s a useful trend for brands. For people who must travel, hotels can resemble the comfort of home, while dialling the style level up a notch. They can invite luxury brands to fully fit living room-type spaces. Everything can be branded and bought on the spot, from furniture to homeware, snacks and drinks, and care products. Retail is everywhere.
3. SAFETY- CERTAINTY- TRANSPARANCY
Anxiety is an increasingly cultural concern. In fact, it’s currently the foremost emotional condition. That’s a terrifying idea!
But! There is help. By simply creating a sense of safety, certainty and transparency brands can help ease these emotions. Brands should develop strategies and instore solutions to nurture a positive environment that combats the anxiety of your costumer and makes them breathe a (mask-covered) sigh of relief. If you leave them humming ‘Ohm’, you know you’ve nailed it.
4. HEALTH – CALM – MEANINGFULL
Virtual shopping spaces were the way of the future no matter what. The pandemic just edged this development along. Physical spaces won’t cease to exists, but their function will change. Customers will visit physical stores to experience a brand, to experience community. It’s up to brands to make that experience post-COVID proof—meaning clean, calming, and perhaps even private (bookable) shopping experiences.